"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Sunday, January 1, 2012

MicroSoft Xbox 360 Hackers Assess Gait, Measure Knee Angle

Are you still using your plastic goniometer?

Maybe its time to throw it away and get the new Microsoft's Xbox 360 to measure your patients' knee angles

The Kinect works, according this National Public Radio podcast by of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology teams winners, Ziyuan Liu:
"...the Kinect actually has two cameras and a laser emitter, so the laser emitter scatters little laser dots around the environment and that one of the cameras senses the distortion in these laser dots to measure depth and the other camera takes in the picture of the environment and correlates that with the depth.
And with that, we're practically able to reconstruct the environment in 3D, but our project focuses on extracting certain points like joints, knee angles."
This "disruptive technology" has the potential to displace physical therapists' jobs.

Physical therapists have traditionally measured gait deviations and knee joint angles using visual assessment for gait and plastic goniometers for knees.

I don't think most physical therapists have much to worry about since we still provide better value for common, high-volume musculoskeletal care than most primary care practitioners and care comparable to orthopedists at a fraction of the cost.

We looked in-depth at physical therapists replacing physicians in hospital settings here.

Thank you to Edwin Linares of the LinkedIn HITECH Professionals networking group for his re-post of "5 Trends That Will Shape the Future in 2012".

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

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Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.